Shiva and Parvati

Lord Shiva is the All- Compassionate Hindu God, who swallowed the deadly poison ‘halahala’ to save the world from annihilation.

It is told, by munis (wise men) and sages, that when creation was complete, Lord Shiva and His Consort, Goddess Parvati went to live on the top of the Kailash Mountain in the Himalayas. Parvati Devi, one day, asked Lord Shiva-
“O Lord! Which of the many rituals observed by your devotees please you most?”
Lord Shiva replied-
“The fourteenth night of the new moon in the dark fortnight, during the month of Phalgun, is My Favorite Day. It is called Shivratri. My devotees give me greater happiness by fasting rather than ceremonial offerings of flowers, sweets and incense. They observe strict spiritual discipline in the day and worship me in four different forms during each of the four successive three-hour periods of the night. The offering of a few bael leaves is more precious to me than the most fragrant flower and the most expensive jewel. They bathe me in milk in the first period, in curd in the second, in clarified butter in the third and in honey, in the fourth and last period. In the morning, after the prescribed ceremonies, they break the fast. No ritual can compare with this simple routine in sanctity.”

It is interesting to note that the bael leaf that we offer in the ceremonial rituals to Lord Shiva is considered sacred as the bael tree grows near the Shiva temple and the leaf has the particularity of blossoming in the shape of a trishul- three small leaves in a tiny twig, one in the middle and, one on each side.
-Anita Bacha-

Hindu God Lord Shiva and His consort Parvati Devi

The Night of Shiva in Mauritius

In spiritual life, each aspirant seeks and appeases his spiritual hunger according to his belief , taste or talent.

Grand Bassin, dotingly called ‘Ganga Talao’ , is a Crater Lake situate in a secluded mountain area in the South of Mauritius. Nestled deep in the core recess of the heart of the island, Grand Bassin is recognized as a sacred lake and a replica of the Holy Ganges by the Hindu populace.Every year, thousands of pilgrims from the four corners of the island converge to its precincts; they collect the sacred water of the lake,to offer to Lord Shiva, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri or The Night of Shiva. This year, the Night of Shiva is celebrated on 21 February. Zealous pilgrims from the north, the east and the west have started to trek to the south since Friday last, blessed by the intermittent drizzles of the rainy season.

ODE TO SHIVA

Graceful, gorgeous white skinned Lord,

You wear the moon on your head,

You are the elixir of life,

Remover of pain and suffering; Immutable, powerful three-eyed Lord,

You are the Embodiment of Light

Bestower of joy and ecstasy

Destroyer of darkness and ignorance

My song is a prayer to you,

My dance is a worship to you,

My body is your temple,

My soul belongs to you.

Anita Bacha

Illustration/Photography/Anita Bacha Illustration Video/Courtesy of Flying Freaks Aerial Cinematography